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A step-by-step guide to boosting your App Store conversion rate

By Buse Kanal August 4, 2022

Increasing your App Store conversion rate is a core KPI of your mobile marketing. However, on a platform where millions of apps exist and where competition is fierce, how can you make your app come out on top?

Read on to discover best practices for improving your conversion rate.

What is ‘conversion rate’?

Broadly speaking, conversion rate measures the percentage of people who have taken your desired action. Using conversion rate, you can set a benchmark and determine how successful your marketing efforts are.

According to App Store developers, the conversion rate is “measured as the ratio of Total Downloads to Unique Impressions. Unique Impression is counted when a customer views your app on the Today, Games, Apps, or Search tabs on the App Store, or on your product page.”

Image source: App Store developers

As developers, you can visit the App Store Connect dashboard to quickly view the conversion rate. Simply click the Metrics tab and choose Conversion Rate from the pop-up menu.

What’s amazing about App Store Connect is that you also see conversion rate by Source Type. This allows you to identify which of your sources or advertising channels is giving you the highest conversion rate.

How is the conversion rate calculated?

You can calculate the conversion rate by dividing the number of impressions by the conversion event:

(Conversion Event / Impressions) x 100 = Conversion Rate

Image source: Vecteezy

To better understand how conversion rate is calculated, here’s a relatable example:

Let’s say you run a mobile ad campaign on Instagram. At the end of the campaign, data showed that your ads reached 10,000 people on the platform. This is the number that represents impressions in our equation.

On the other hand, out of these 10,000 people, there were 500 who clicked on your ad. This number is the conversion event.

Using these numbers the conversion rate equation would look like this:

(500 ÷ 10,000) x 100 = 5%

In our example, the conversion rate of the ad campaign is 5%. This means that 5% of the people who saw the ad clicked on it. 

Obviously, the conversion event isn’t limited to clicks. It can also measure how many people made a purchase through your app. It can measure how many users moved further down your sales funnel. Virtually any action related to your app can be measured using the conversion rate as long as you have the data needed to complete the equation.

Why is measuring your conversion rate important?

There are plenty of benefits to reap when measuring your conversion rate. 

  1. Know the effectiveness of your ad campaign
  2. Compare the performance of your ad campaigns from different advertising channels
  3. Determine which advertising channels you should focus on
  4. Set your expected return on investment (ROI)
  5. Measure different ways users interact with your app
  6. Make data-driven decisions on how to target your audience
  7. Optimize your campaign ads by making necessary adjustments
  8. Identify possible issues in your app and processes

In short, the conversion rate is a useful metric to know whether your marketing strategies are successful or not and highlight what can be done to improve overall app performance.

13 tips to increase App Store conversion rate

Now that we’ve laid out the basics, we can learn specific methods to improve your conversion rate. 

1. Use a CRO planner

As the saying goes, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” So before embarking on a new journey to improve your conversion rate, you must create an action plan. That’s where a CRO planner comes in.

A CRO (conversion rate optimization) planner is an important tool that allows you to develop marketing strategies primarily aimed to improve app conversion rates.

An effective CRO planner for apps includes split testing, content enhancements, and workflow improvements. With the right CRO planner, you can systematically perform a site audit, understand your users, improve the conversion funnel as well as process, and conduct experiments.

The best thing about a CRO planner is it guides you every step of the way through your conversion rate optimization.

Creating a CRO planner can be difficult at first. It takes time and effort. However, once you’ve created one, you’ll experience a smoother and more efficient way to improve conversion rates.

If you’d like to learn more about CRO, get in touch with professionals like ShyftUp who’ll happily guide you to create your own CRO planner.

2. Upgrade your app

The best way to increase your conversion rate is to create a beautiful, powerful, and useful app. With the right app, it is easier to convince other people to use your services and products.

If you have a mediocre app, people won’t see a reason to download it. Even if you manage to convince them to download your app, they’ll quickly uninstall it after realizing it isn’t what they’re looking for.

When you give users compelling reasons to download your app, you’ll have a higher chance of improving your conversion rate. If you can meet their needs, more users will use your app.

3. Aim to improve your ratings and reviews

Ask yourself, when was the last time you chose an app simply because it had a good rating? When was the last time you bought a product just because it had a lot of great reviews?

You see, ratings and reviews are types of social proof that your app offers a great user experience. 

On the App Store, there’s a section where people can read user reviews and check ratings. The more positive reviews you receive, the more people believe your app is right for them. Thus, your conversion rate inevitably increases.

Image source: Apple App Store

If you want to improve your conversion rate, you must look to improve your ratings and reviews. Of course, this will again go back to the quality of your app.

Aside from that, you need to listen to your users. Read their reviews and respond to them as much as possible. Don’t be discouraged when you receive negative comments. Take this as an opportunity for you to learn how to better improve your app.

When people see that you listen to them, even the most negative comments could turn into positive comments. 

The higher your rating, the more people will use your app. The more people use your app, the higher your App Store conversion rate will become.

4. Know your audience

When you’re trying to catch fish, you use worms as your bait. Why? Is it because you like worms? Of course not! You use worms because the fish like them.

In the same manner, don’t think about yourself. Think about your audience if you want to get more people using your app. When you have what they want, you can push them to do what you want them to do. 

That’s the reason that understanding your audience is crucial to your conversion rate.

As much as possible, put yourself in the shoes of your users. Knowing your audience is part of increasing your conversion rate. If you know what they want, you have a better way of convincing them to use your app and eventually purchase your product or pay for your services.

To better know your audience, you can perform the following:

  • Analyze your customer base
  • Conduct market research
  • Interview users
  • Send out surveys
  • Create personas
  • Identify pain points of users
  • Understand the motivations behind your users
  • Know how your app benefits your users

The more you know your audience, the better you’ll know how to approach them.

5. Target the right audience

If you wish to increase your conversion rate, you need to focus on the quality of your target audience and not just the quantity. If you end up targeting the wrong people, you’ll end up having a low conversion rate.

It is better to reach fewer people but the right audience. Make sure your app is relevant to them. If not, they will ignore your advert or app altogether.

Image source: Vecteezy

Take Tik Tok for example. They know their app is more readily received by teens and younger adults. If they are going to target the older age group, they will have a lower conversion rate since interest in their app will be lower.

However, if they run ads and target millennials and Gen Zs, they will most likely have a higher conversion rate.

As you can see, it’s all about targeting the right audience.

The first impression gallery includes the primary elements people see once they land on your App Store listing. These elements include your app title and icon, screenshots, and videos. 

Image source: Apple App Store

You need to design each of these elements in a style that will resonate with your potential users. Your main goal is to make these elements work together in convincing people to download and use your app.

Remember that people today have increasingly shorter attention spans. It only takes a few seconds for them to decide whether to stay or leave. That’s why it’s so crucial to have the right first impression gallery.

Here are a few questions you need to ask yourself:

  • Does my app title instantly give my audience an idea of what my app is all about?
  • Is my app icon catchy and descriptive?
  • Are my screenshots impressive enough to grab people’s attention and provide users with a walkthrough of my app?
  • Are my videos professionally made to engage users?

If your answer to any of these questions is no or you feel that your elements aren’t doing their job, then it’s time to rethink your strategy and give them a new look.

7. Make the conversion event fast and effortless

Sometimes, people are hesitant to do what you want them to do because of how tedious and time-consuming it is.

For example, if you’re trying to ask users to fill out a form that has a lot of questions and line items, users will likely exit the page and abandon completing the task. 

If you want users to sign up for your newsletter, just ask for the most important details such as names and email addresses. If you want users to download your app, make the download button as clear and visible as possible.

Keep in mind that you want to create the least amount of friction, distraction, and hesitation. The quicker and easier the process, the more your conversion rate will increase.

8. Perform A/B tests

One of the best ways to stay competitive in the App Store is to conduct A/B tests regularly. These tests allow you to identify the best version of your app listing page or elements of your app ads.

You can use other services and tools when it comes to A/B tests. Thankfully, you can also use Apple’s A/B test feature called Product Page Optimization (PPO).

Image source: Apple Developer

PPO allows you to test your app icons, app preview videos, and screenshots. With PPO, you can gather important data to identify which of your experiments would best give you the results you need.

For example, you can run PPO and test your screenshots. You can create up to 3 screenshot versions. After the test, Apple tells you which of your screenshots led to the highest engagement. Once you know which screenshots led to the most downloads, you can use those screenshots for a higher conversion rate.

You need to regularly test your App Store page. What could be the best screenshots for app previews in the past may not be the best options in the future.

There are predictable events that happen every year. You can ride on these events to get better engagement with your targeted users. Some of these events include New Year, Valentine’s Day, Easter, Hanukkah, Diwali, and Christmas. Keep in mind many events are geographically or culturally unique.

Aside from seasons and holidays, there could also be current trends and events that serve as a golden opportunity to capture more installs. So, be sure to take note of those and think about how you can take advantage of them.

10. Localize

Localization is an important aspect of your app marketing. It’s no secret people around the world differ in languages, cultures, and social norms. You might notice why some locations respond well to certains ads while others don’t.

Image source: Vecteezy

Localization is effective when you want to go global. When people see that you made the effort to design your ads in accordance with their culture and language, there’s a greater chance that they will use your app.

11. Give special offers and deals

Like what was mentioned above, you want to give users as many reasons as possible to motivate them into activating the conversion event.

Here are some ideas you might wish to consider:

  • Coupons
  • Money-back guarantees
  • Free trials
  • In-app or in-game rewards
  • Free resources such as eBooks, guides, and tips

People constantly ask the question, “What’s in it for me?” With the right offer, people will be convinced using your app serves their interests.

12. Update your app

Updating your app won’t only improve the functionality of your app but also makes your app look more professional. When people see your app is regularly updated, they’ll choose your app over other outdated app options.

Image source: Apple App Store

This is especially true since App Store listing’s each showcase a “What’s New” section. When people read through this and see you regularly update your app, they’re far more likely to find you more credible and be more confident in using your app.

13. Track and evaluate app performance

In marketing your app, you want to make data-driven decisions. Yes, the conversion rate is vital to your app’s growth, but it is not the only one you should take note of.

Image source: Vecteezy

Increasing your conversion rate does not happen in a vacuum. There are other factors that come into play. Every metric affects your conversion rate. 

Here are some of the most vital metrics you should take note of:

  • Acquisition — number and source of downloads
  • Retention — how long users keep your app
  • Activation — the percentage of people who downloaded your app and actually launched it
  • Engagement — the number of active users (can be measured daily, weekly, and monthly)
  • Uninstalls — the number of people who uninstall your app
  • Cost per conversion — how much money you spend to acquire a user
  • Click-through rate — the percentage of app users who responded to your in-app notifications, email links, and push notifications
  • Opt-in rate — the percentage of app users who subscribed to your notification or who allowed you to access their location

As you can imagine, these metrics, directly and indirectly, affect your conversion rate. For instance, when you notice there’s a sudden spike in your uninstalls, it might be due to a bug in your app. You need to fix this problem immediately so that you won’t get negative reviews, which will in turn affect your long-term conversion rate.

Tracking app performance also helps in improving your app and how you interact with your users. All these components improve your conversion rate.

FAQs

Why is my app conversion rate so low?

Some of the reasons you’re not getting a high conversion rate may include:

  • Targeting the wrong audience
  • Difficulty in performing your desired action
  • App store listing isn’t impressive enough
  • Users don’t know what your app is about, you have low ratings and poor reviews.

What is a good app conversion rate?

The answer depends on who you ask. However, most experts agree that the average conversion rate is 1-2%. If you have a conversion rate higher than 2%, you are above average.

How do you measure app performance?

There are different tools to measure app performance. In the App Store, you can go to the App Store Connect section where you can access app analytics, Payments and Financial Reports, and Sales and Trends.

Trust the experts to help you increase your conversion rate

Increasing your conversion rate takes a lot of clever planning, flawless execution, and detailed evaluation. So if you want to save time, energy, and resources, you must source professional expertise.

ShyftUp is among the best user acquisition agencies that help grow apps. They have the right expertise, technology, and experience to give your app a better chance of winning in the competitive world of the App Store. Contact them today!

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